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The quote of the day is presented by

Opponents of gun-ownership constraints focus on what political scientists call “negative freedom,” which suggests government restrictions on behavior are unwarranted. Seldom does the gun control debate take account of “positive freedom,” which strives to offer a rich menu of options to its beneficiaries.

Alone on his island, Robinson Crusoe had unlimited negative freedom, but virtually no positive freedom, since there was nothing to do but enjoy the weather and search for coconuts. Both types of freedom are valuable, but there are trade-offs between them. Governments often place constraints on behavior (restrict negative liberty) to enhance the positive freedom of others.

For example, if I own a lakefront property or a houseboat, I can legally prevent you from camping in my front yard or walking uninvited onto my houseboat. With the government’s consent and its substantial enforcement capabilities, I can constrain the rights of thousands of my fellow Kentuckians (restrict their negative freedom) to enhance my capacity to enjoy my own property (positive freedom).

All of us face uncountable numbers of restrictions, constraints, and regulations designed to protect what are called “property rights.” Without them, theft, anarchy, and chaos would corrupt our way of life. The Declaration of Independence stated boldly that Americans have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Can there be a more important “property right” than the right to your own life?

When an innocent school child is shot dead in the classroom or a young mother is killed in a Walmart because assault-weapon owners are “exercising their Second-Amendment rights,” negative freedom has won an unjustified and immoral victory over positive freedom. A lifetime of possibilities is instantaneously destroyed to “protect” what amounts to a single person’s whim. To argue that this is something the Founding Fathers would have found an acceptable trade-off is the essence of a delusion.

Politicians need to stop hiding behind the “negative freedoms” supposedly supported by the Second Amendment, stand up for positive freedom, and take actions to prevent the senseless slaughter caused by the easy availability of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

– Donald R. Mullineaux in Your freedom to own a gun can’t outweigh my freedom to live a life


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  1. “We Need to Deemphasize the Negative Freedom of Gun Rights in Favor of the Positive Freedom of Life”

    IF you could do that, you’d be a marketing genius…

    • This article’s intended concept is a misguided attempt to combine operant conditioning (positive and negative) with the existential “freedom from” and “freedom for” views of Nietzsche.

      Did it work? Nine out of ten readers say no.

      Nice try, but no prize for your. Wouldn’t want to reinforce your behavior now would I?

      • In a broadcast interview, I remember Obama mentioning this, how he was distressed that the ‘Bill of Rights’ was nothing but negative rights. And the Leftist interviewing him was bobbing his head up-and-down in ignorant agreement.

        Shit, the old ‘CCCP’ had a right to a job and housing in their “Constitution”, and look what the result often was…

        • Found it! It’s well-worth the dive :

          “In sum, Obama views the Constitution as a flawed document from which we must “break free.” We need, instead, a “living” Constitution that refocuses from “negative rights” to requiring income redistribution from the Haves to provide “positive economic rights” to the Have Nots.

          Obama’s 2001 interview provides a clear statement of a judicial philosophy that displays little interest in the original intent of the Constitution. A second-term Obama would surely nominate judges who share his “living Constitution” principles.”

        • What’s the point of having a Constitution if you’re just going to ignore it? It’s crazy how much the media ran cover for him.

        • government has its place. Never forget however that any service or positive rights it provides have come from reallocation. The govt doesn’t create anything, it merely redistributes it. For protection against force and fraud this is acceptable. Anything else is questionable at BEST.

    • Last I checked, you do NOT have the right to murder someone (It’s pretty much the most illegal of all the illegal things…) regardless of method used. You might as well say high speed assault race car engines should be banned to keep people from exceeding the speed limit.

    • 2nd Amendment rights are fundamentally about the preservation of liberty and freedom. Demanding that we give up our liberty and freedom so that people can feel safer is always a loosing proposition because, a right once abandoned, is gone forever. Simply put and bluntly stated: My liberty and freedom is worth more than your need to feel safe.

      • And to push the argument a bit further . . . Your need to feel safe is rightfully and ultimately you’re own personal responsibility. The right to keep and bear arms, as stated in the 2nd Amendment, provides you with the ability to provide for not only your own safety but for the safety of your family, those around your, and—if need be—the society at large. The people arguing for “positive rights” are the same people who reject the obvious logic of having armed citizens in places, like schools and Walmarts, that are seen as vulnerable targets by potential spree killers.

        • To add to that right to life isn’t even a positive right anyways. It is a negative right. Explanation: We all have a right to live, in other words the negative right to life that essentially says people should not kill people. What hinges on the protection of that right to life? People avoiding killing others and individuals having the ability and responsibility to prevent themselves fro. Being killed.

          So basically the positive right nonsense is literally another way of saying “let’s contract out the government for our own personal safety” instead of the negative right of “let’s put on our big girl panties, be adults, and be responsible for ourselves like our parents should have taught us”.

    • Or as the Left re-packages it: “Slavery is freedom.”

      And in other news, guns are bad, abortion is good, up is down, and the gov’t is here to help.


  2. We need to emphasize that the left lives because we kindly do not exterminate them. And that this kind policy is one that can be changed.

    • A policy the left does not afford the 900,000 babies it kills per year in the U.S. alone. I’m sure Mulli would consider this barbaric act a “positive right” for everyone.

      Sick people who pretend to care about an “innocent school child” only if that child wasn’t born and left on a table to die.

      • Exactly. I work in a highly Left-leaning environment, and whenever someone brings up guns (which always seems to include the NRA and AR-15s, even though they know nothing about them) and the need to protect our children, I ask them if we can do anything about the 600K children murdered every year (per the CDC’s numbers) from Gov-sanctioned abortion.

        Always silence after that.

        This is a very enlightening “man on the street” video in which a young man asks college students if they’ll sign a petition to protect baby animals. They say yes, then he asks them to sign another one protecting babies. They say yes. Then he clarifies and says it’s to protect the unborn babies. The young women suddenly switch gears and no longer make it about protecting children, but “womens rights”. It’s a short vid.

  3. Okay, what was the point of this exercise?
    Mob Rules! Authoritarianism for ALL…Thank you for coming…All over the New England area the “NOT-News” Liberal corporate media Shills continue to loudly dictate , direct public opinion, and manipulate the masses with cries to drown the 2nd Amendment with as much bureaucracy to effectively put out of reach of the common man/woman…It already feels Orwellian, and like the old Soviet union .

    • I believe we may have reached the state of government posited by Ayn Rand:

      “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

      Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

      • I’ve posted this excerpt in the past, but it’s always good to read again, and good to know others are aware of it as well.

        Thx, Gordon.

  4. The freedom to be left alone by government sounds pretty positive to me. Maybe they should just change the notation on my paycheck stub from “Withholding” to “Positive Freedom” so I can enjoy all that intrusion and theft.

  5. Too many logical fallacies in this article:
    1. The negative freedom for one to own a gun does not directly impact someone using a gun or any other tool to commit murder. In other words, if I no longer had that freedom the murders would still happen, even if not with the use of a gun (though even that would not be assured)
    2. My freedom to own a gun protects life: mine and my family’s, hence the negative freedom to own the best tool for self defense does follow from the right to life.

    • Oh, come on, no one killed anyone before there were guns, and after guns are banned, the only death possible is peacefully in bed, after a long, prosperous, fulfilling life, surrounded by loving family and friends.

      Sarcasm, by the way.

    • Like this: “When an innocent school child is shot dead in the classroom or a young mother is killed in a Walmart because assault-weapon owners are ‘exercising their Second-Amendment rights’…”

      Note the clever “because” slipped in there. These kinds of horrific acts occur “because” you and I own guns. If you let that “because” slip by unchallenged, then the rest of the argument falls right into place: we must curtail certain freedoms in order to protect everyone’s right to life (except for the unborn, but I digress).

      That “because” is a lie – an extremely malicious one – but as soon as you challenge it, the argument falls apart in an instant. The fact that I own guns has caused not one single act of violence – period.

      My freedom to own firearms does not in any way infringe upon other people’s right to life.

      • Note the clever “because” slipped in there. These kinds of horrific acts occur “because” you and I own guns.

        Behold, the ex hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

      • The problem isn’t that “because”.

        We could rewrite the sentence numerous ways and it would still be wrong because the base assumption behind it is wrong.

        Without getting into an long post about English and the use of conjunctions and various clauses in English:

        The entire thing is a red herring based on what Chip correctly notes is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy that’s designed specifically in this case to not-so-subtly suggest that murder via firearms is part and parcel of *modern sense* of the 2A while subtly suggesting that this has something to do with modern firearms and recent court cases.

        Ultimately the problem has nothing to do with the specific words in use here at all. The issue is that the base logic for this entire line of argument is: the modern 2A=murder.

        It’s interesting that it’s an open and obvious attack on the 2A but still attempts to purport that the author supports some version of the 2A from yesteryear. The Founders weren’t wrong they just wouldn’t have the same opinion today because of something not explicitly stated.

        In that regard it’s somewhat akin to socialists complaining that “real” socialism hasn’t been tried yet.

        A side note: These are the people I dislike. Someone smart enough to craft this argument as carefully as it’s presented here knows damn right well what they’re doing and therefore knows that the whole thing is dishonest. They just don’t care as long as they get what they want.

        • The word choice is how the fallacy is conveyed to a poorly informed audience that might not notice what the author is doing, e.g.: “because second amendment, murder.”

  6. To the useful Leftist tool holding the lavender sign the reply is My Rights Don’t End Where Your Feelings Begin.

  7. This whole article is a fallacy of logic called a false dichotomy. Typical leftist illogical “logic”.

    A false dichotomy is a dichotomy that is not jointly exhaustive (there are other alternatives), or that is not mutually exclusive (the alternatives overlap), or that is possibly neither.

    Simply stated, you can have both freedom FROM gun control and freedom to live. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact they are supportive of each other.

  8. This idiot college professor seems to be unable to distinguish between the right to own and peaceably employ weapons and committing homicide with them. And I say, “peaceably employ”, not, “legally own” for a reason.

    • because that’s the new spin “he wouldn’t of committed murder if he didn’t have a gun” as if an object some how influences behavior

      • It’s like the story of the kid (I think he was 14) that used a gun within the house to kill his family. The narrative is he wouldn’t have done it if only they had safe storage laws. So it isn’t something wrong with the kid, it’s something wrong with those dastardly republicans!

        Well, when I was 14, I came across a loaded gun. I was looking for car keys to take a joyride in my dad’s car. Of course I picked it up, but I didn’t fire it. It never once occurred to me that I should use it to kill my family or anyone else. Despite knowing where the gun was stored, I never once touched it again.

        • “You’re hanging out here so you got some screws loose.”

          Lookie here! “Blacklisted” thinks he’s clever!

          By your own (admittedly utter lack of) ‘logic’, what’s that say about *you* then?

          You’re a very special kind of fuckwit, aren’t you?

          Go away, the adults are talking…

          *snicker* 😉

    • ‘a young mother is killed in a Walmart because assault-weapon owners are “exercising their Second-Amendment rights,” ‘ WTH? He thinks murder is a 2A right?

    • He’s perfectly well able to distinguish the difference. He’s lying because it serves his purpose.

      He’s intentionally trying to lead his audience down the garden path. Personally I find it kind of offensive to assume that people are stupid enough to fall for this and I would hope most people reading it would find it offensive for that same reason.

      • Unfortunately a good portion of his audience apparently is that dumb. Watch the video posted in the comments above or any video like it. Check out Campus Reform videos. It’s a good look at how college students (don’t) think. These people just mindlessly repeat the talking points that have been drilled into their heads.

        • I’m of the opinion that those videos have a significant observational bias to them.

          I deal with college kids all day and at one of the *most liberal universities in the country*. Few of them would fall for this.

          The only ones I honestly think would take this argument are the ones who truly want to believe the argument before it’s presented. The rest would call you an asshole for assuming they’re stupid and walk away. I’d rate that as 90% of the people I deal with.

          It’s like that video from Mizzou a few years back. If you watch it and only pay attention to the foreground it seems like Mizzou is fucked. But if you watch the background you realize that for every person causing trouble, or “being muscle” demanding a safe space in the video there’s 100 or more just walking on by going to class to do something useful. For every minority in the foreground there’s at least 50 walking on by in the background ignoring the whole thing.

          So was Mizzou all fucked up or was there a small minority of idiots on campus? Given the video and the standard distribution for fucktards I would suspect it’s the latter rather than the former.

          Mizzou certainly paid in blood for that video coming out though.

  9. Interesting way to look at it. i have always been a believer in negative rights. Positive rights are just privileges. Universal healthcare is a positive right and really is just a privilege.

    Control of my private property is a negative right. Access to it is a positive right (privilege)

    Negative rights do not require anyone to be involved. Positive rights the government or a group of people infringe on your negative rights to create a privilege. No one has the freedom to make me do anything. It’s just tyranny then.

    This guy needs to research this stuff again. There is no such thing as positive freedom

    • Biatec,

      I am not sure that either you or I understand what Mr. Mullineaux wrote. I read it three times now and this is my best guess as to what he was trying to say:

      “negative rights” are the “right” to interfere with the rights of others. Under this definition, I have a “negative right” to steal someone’s car.

      “positive rights” are the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not interfere with the rights of other people.

      Of course there is no such thing as a “negative right”. No one has any right to interfere with the rights of other people. And that includes Mr. Mullineaux and his ilk WHO HAVE NO RIGHT TO RESTRICT MY RIGHT TO OWN AND POSSESS PERSONAL PROPERTY.

      Since Mr. Mullineaux and his ilk endeavor to restrict my right to own the personal property of my choosing (firearms in this case), Mr. Mullineaux is really arguing that it is perfectly okay for someone to restrict another person’s rights as long as Mr. Mullineaux and his comrades are the ones restricting rights.

      Kiss my @$$ Mr. Mullineaux.

      • Yes he does not believe in rights. How ever the difference between negative and positive rights is a well thought out idea.

        Negative rights do not use force. gun ownership, property rights, free speech and expression, defense and all that are all negative rights. It doesn’t require anything from anyone other than they not initiate force on you.

        Positive rights in theory are things that require other people. Like if universal healthcare was a right to be provided by the government. That is a positive right.

        I don’t have the right to make a company support my speech. That would be a positive right.

        The guy who wrote this touched on it. The problem is he doesn’t understand it. he is saying freedom to from crime means he has the right to force everyone to not own guns or something like that. Which is not correct.

        If I agreed to healthcare being a negative right it would mean it be like the 2nd amendment. The government could not be involved in healthcare. If I believed the constitution to be positive the government would need to provide me a gun lol
        I don’t believe in positive rights I’m just explaining it. The leftists are trying to poison it.

        • “I don’t believe in positive rights I’m just explaining it. The leftists are trying to poison it.”

          As in everything.

          The terms are a mess because the starting point is “a list of what government has the “right” (power) to do to people. Prevention of government action (a la’ the Constitution) is viewed as a “negative” by people who endorse absolute rule by government. Calling constraint “negative rights/freedoms” is what one expects of statists/authoritarians. The mindset is the government is superior to people. However, the use of “rights” or “freedoms” is designed to confuse the populace; newspeak.

          To press again the comparison of the Constitution to an appointment of “agency”, the government has no “rights”. It has only agency. That is, it has authority to act in place of the party appointing agency, and is constrained by the warrant/appointment. In contracting for agency, the principle (person/entity issuing the appointment) lists the authorities of the agent (person appointed to act). In this arrangement, and under law, the agent may not act where the appointment does not specify. In agency contracts, there is no list of prohibited acts, only those acts permitted. Under no circumstance may the principle, or the agent, act illegally.

          Example: Creation of Power of Attorney. One can create a power of attorney for a single act, or multiple acts. For demonstration, this POA is granting agency/authority for your agent to buy a specific horse. The agent instead decides to steal the horse. Upon capture, the agent (holder of the POA) claims in court that you are an accomplice because the horse would not have been stolen, if you had not hired the agent. In fact, the agent had acted outside the authority of the POA, and is completely liable for the result. Since stealing a horse is nowhere in the POA, you cannot be considered an accomplice to an illegal act you did not authorize. You were not required by law to detail every possible criminal act, and include those as prohibitions in your POA.

          The Constitution is a POA of a sort. The government is the agent, and granted certain authorities (often called “powers”…but never are such authorities “rights”). The limits of the POA/agency are specifically those actions authorized. Actions not listed as authorized are not covered by “agency”. As with a civil POA, the government has only authority specified, and detailing everything that is prohibited is unnecessary in law (however, Anti-Federalists understood human/government nature, and insisted the 9th and 10 Amendments specifically state that powers/agency not included in the Constitution and BOR are not permitted to the central government.

          In civil contracts for agency, the document can include a list of prohibited actions. Such as, “Buy a Roan Horse, but not a Black horse.” However, such an agency document would never be termed a document of “negative rights/freedoms”. The whole kerfuffle is simply the Leftists trying to “normalize” the idea that government should be considered supreme over the individual. Don’t fall for it. Call out the false premise whenever it appears.

      • I have the right to disagree with what you wrote. It is a big stretch saying someone is standing on 2nd amendment rights and then murdering someone. Our gun rights stop at protection, hunting, target shooting(discharging a firearm in a safe manner). Simple possession of a firearm is not intent to murder anyone or their children.

      • ““negative rights” are the “right” to interfere with the rights of others. Under this definition, I have a “negative right” to steal someone’s car.

        “positive rights” are the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not interfere with the rights of other people.”

        This is him muddying the waters with his examples.

        In political science a “negative right” is that which the government may not do to you. You have the right to bear arms because the government doesn’t have the right to interfere with you doing so.

        Positive rights are those BESTOWED by government. The Soviet Constitution was full of these. The government must provide you housing, a job, education etc.

        Usually these are called ‘positive liberties’ and ‘negative liberties’ but the definitions are the same. Negative = what the government can’t do to you. Positive = what the government must do for you.

        In this case he’s arguing that ‘life’ is a positive liberty which must be preserved by the government action of regulating the negative liberties contained in the 2A, that is, gun control.

        Part of his argument is that you can’t get on his houseboat because the government grants him the positive liberty to prevent you from doing so (or punish you for doing it) via a law enforcement mechanism.

        That’s a bullshit argument because you never had the negative liberty to get on the houseboat in the first place.

        • I should note that these ideas can be extended past government. The negative right to life for example means that the government isn’t supposed to murder you. This extends to other groups and individuals as well.

          That thought isn’t usually clearly and explicitly written in political science since it’s assumed that “the government” is people and that the reader knows this. Also, usually poli sci is concerned about government action rather than say, vigilante justice, which is generally thought to be related to government insofar as it’s proscribed by that government and unnecessary where that government is competent and just.

          As far as the way vigilantes operate and their motivations poli sci leaves that sort of thing to psychology and other behavioral studies.

  10. The twisted perverted thinking of the socialist progressive communist/ fascist is truly amazing.
    Coming from atheists, their total blind faith in law enforcement and the military is just “religious” in its belief.

    • And nowhere is that ‘religion’ more powerful than their deity of “man-caused global climate change”.

      It doesn’t matter what scientific data you show them, they believe it, and that’s it – The discussion is over…

      • I am sure than man has contributed to global climate change, as have wildebeest herds, bison or the lack of, plagues of vermin and insect activity. This has been going on since the first amoebas grew in the standing water they landed in. Change is the only constant, all forms of life on this planet are along for the ride and the ride changes over the millennia.

  11. So, to summarize, if one does not agree with guns bans, then one must agree to people stealing their property and/or squatting in their front yard… logical.

  12. the right to life necessitates the right to self-defense. there’s a “positive” rights argument for the 2A though i’m loath to make it.

  13. Just when I thought I had a grasp on how scrambled the mental processes of a gun-grabber’s brain is, I find out that I am wrong.

    Mr. Mullineaux’s rambling is terribly flawed. Of course I have no right to camp in Mr. Mullineaux’s front yard. What Mr. Mullineaux certainly has absolutely not right to do, however, is insist that I cannot own a tent.

    Thus, speaking to the matter at hand:
    Of course no one has any right to offensively deploy a firearm against Mr. Mullineaux. And no one has any right nor righteous authority to deny anyone else from owning, possessing, and using whatever they righteously acquire.

    This is another example of “rights for me and none for thee” or its variant “rules for thee and none for me”.

    • Rookie mistake thinking you could ever… understand their thought process. You would never say “I understand women” would you? This is the EXACT same thing.

      • Not quite. Their ‘logic’ makes sense, as long as you fully buy-in to their root philosophy, and that is that they are inherently ‘good’.

        In their world, government is all good intentions. In our view, government must be watched like a hawk.

        It makes sense, in their little twisted ‘bubble’…

        • Disagree with that Geoff…Their belief that every thought they have is somehow “good” is simply a justification for their deeds. It does not by any means, make their logic “sensical”.

          Even if one fully accepts their root philosophy as pure or good, it does not confer ‘logic’ to their actions. Conservatives have to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort dispelling their feelings which they believe as fact.

          Furthermore, leftism and feminism are joined at the hip, you can not have one without the other. Therefore attempting to understand their logic, one would need to understand their ever changing feelings, which is simply, an impossible task.

          Additionally, their ‘little twisted ‘bubble’ is merely group-think, which is justification on a grand scale. However, it is fundamental to their political existence, as this amount of crazy could not subsist without a hive.

          • “Even if one fully accepts their root philosophy as pure or good, it does not confer ‘logic’ to their actions.”

            Actually….it does.

            Analyzing someone else’s “logic” via our own concepts leads to faulty logic on our part (facts, data, reason, logic). “No one could possible believe that….” results in our wickering together defenses that are no more than the buzzing of flies to the anti-gunners.

            There is a simple and unassailable logic at work with anti-gunners: the ends justify the means. Feelings fuel the pawns, but the logic remains unchanged. The strategy supports the logic: remove all guns from the law-abiding, ignore the criminal element.

            In a contest of “logic” with the Soviets, it was clear the two nations could not accept the logic of the other: the US saw nuclear war as unwinnable, and a last resort in response to unprovoked war; the Sovs viewed nuclear war as winnable, and built attack and recovery systems (no matter how crude) to emerge victorious, ruling over whatever was left. The US viewed nuclear war as something to prevent eternally, the Sovs saw nuclear war as inevitable, and best conducted with winning in mind.

            And there were the Chicoms who, prior to taking the Tiawan seat at the UN, could not believe that the US and western powers could possibly develop foreign policy and military strategy while ignoring the vast nation of China, treating them as inconsequential (the US, on the other hand, viewed the Chinese as poor dependents of the Sovs, long after the ideological split between Chicoms and Russians).

            When declaring an opponent’s positions on a subject as “illogical”, we should always include the qualifier, “to me”. Anti-gunners want to win decisively (even to securing permanent one party rule, and maybe exterminating any other political force). The pro-gun element simply wants the opposition to quit, and do something else.

        • @Sam I Am,

          Actually….it does…Not.

          It is curious that you would begin your comments with a sentence that would, except for the “our”, potentially undermine the rest of your statements.

          ”…Analyzing someone else’s “logic” via our own concepts leads to faulty logic on our part (facts, data, reason, logic)…”

          But i digress.

          Logic, which you drape in quotes, as if the word is malleable, has a distinct definition. That definition involves a series of statements, each of which MUST BE TRUE if the statement before it is true. In the simplest of terms therefore, the process of logic must have a procedure of reasoning that builds truth, upon further truth, until a conclusion of quality is reached that is both correct and reasonable.

          “…There is a simple and unassailable logic at work with anti-gunners: the ends justify the means. Feelings fuel the pawns, but the logic remains unchanged. The strategy supports the logic: remove all guns from the law-abiding, ignore the criminal element….”

          Look at your quote above, “the ends justify the means” skips all truth and process of reasoning, leaping over the operation of a deductive and cogent analysis to arrive at a (flawed) conclusion. You are correct that their feelings (that fuel the pawns) are the bridge that gaps that divide. However it was an extreme error to call this logic, it is, as I mentioned in the previous post…justification. The same justification from the ends ‘JUSTIFY’ the means, which is largely the antithesis of logic, as it is inherently unreasonable, exemplified by the illogical and extreme conclusion of “remove all guns from the law-abiding, ignore the criminal element”. That is not logical, and to argue as much, is frankly, dumb.

          • “Logic” and “truth” are not immune to context. From what I perceive as truth (What is True Truth…a famous question from Francis Shaeffer), logic proceeds. If my truth is that guns in private hands lead to 33,000 unnecessary deaths per year, the logic tells me an indisputable logic requires removal of as many firearms in private hands as is possible. While such logic will not result in universal zeroing-out of deaths by use of guns, it is a fact that if there are no guns in a given location (U.S.?), there would be no deaths from use/misuse of guns. My logic is not designed to end all death, or even all murders. My target is eliminating deaths from gun shot.

            Now, if you begin with the premise that individuals must have freedom and ability to obtain and possess firearms, your logic will proceed to prove your point. In the end, we both use logic, based on our differential truths, to argue for acceptance of our desired outcomes. We start from different points, and arrive, logically, at different destinations. We each declare the logic of the other is invalid because it does not meet our preferred outcome.

            What I am describing is the current condition about gun ownership; we are talking at ninety degrees to each other. There is near-zero possibility we can reach a point where our differing logic will elegantly meet. We have mutually exclusive start points, and mutually exclusive end points.

            From my point, zero guns available means zero deaths by gun fire, the only logical outcome is compete confiscation of guns. The logic is unassailable: remove the implement, and you remove the outcome. “Oh,” but you say, “Your logic fails because you cannot eliminate all guns from the criminal element.” That is correct. So, I modify my premise to become, “Removing all guns from law-abiding citizens eliminates death and injury from guns possessed by the non-criminal element.” Thus, the truth, adjusted, and the logic remain intact. And we remain at ninety degrees to each other.

            To be more brief (which I abhor), if the historical arguments about natural rights began with, “No person has a natural right to kill or injure another, regardless of provocation or condition”, a different accepted view of natural rights would change the starting point of the logic of armed self-defense. However, that would not prevent you from developing your logic for reaching the destination you desire. Logic derives not from what is cosmically objective, but from that which humans coalesce into a universally agreed desirous condition. Once upon a time, complete slaughter and annihilation of enemies was “normal”, without any moral component. It was simply that required to win. Over time, annihilation (murder) became, by general agreement, unacceptable.

            The history of human kind is rife with cosmic standards (settled science?), that later required re-definition, modification, or abandonment. And new logic.

            Old salesmanship mantra: People are not convinced of anything by the height of your logic, but by the depth of your emotion.

          • But….

            Logic is “justification”, or “proof”. The insistence upon “logic” as classically developed is only a mere reflection of societal acceptance of starting point, rules, and certain mental exercises that justify a conclusion.

            In common parlance, “logic” is based on reality as people perceive it. Not talking about “reality” as that which is capable of being touched, but “reality” as an entire construct of the observations of life around us; how we make sense of things. Thus, perception is “reality”. From what I perceive and accept, certain deductions, and conclusions arise. When my sense of the cosmos differs from yours, who is right, and by what cosmic, unassailable standard? Who is the final authority between us?

            The entirety of this mostly serious discussion is to point out that one cannot force “reality” upon another. If we are not using the same “language”, shouting that one or the other of is of superior concept will not result in resolution of the differences in perceptions. And resulting to pejorative regarding the position of the other is neither logical, nor objective.

            Depending of that which you call “logic” to neutralize the political power of the anti-gun mafia has changed virtually nothing in our favor. We must find a way to turn the “logic” of the anti-gunners against them, find an even more effective persuasion, or sand bag the house against the logical armed conflict that is building.

  14. Quite often, firearms owners are their own worst enemies. The duck hunters don’t like the AR-15 “black rifles” so they see no problem if attempts are made to ban them. The traditional rifle owners don’t like machine guns, so they have no problem with them being legislated out of existence. Some pistol owners see nothing wrong with certain long guns being outlawed just as some rifle owners would have no problem seeing pistols banned. You see, anti-gunners want them all. They will chip away a little at a time until their goal of civilian disarmament is complete. They have an excuse for banning every firearm. Scoped bolt-action rifles are defined by anti-gunners as “sniper rifles” because they are “too accurate”. Magazine-fed weapons are suspect because of high (actually normal) magazine capacity. Handguns are suspect because they are “easily concealable”. The gun grabbers want them all and have made (flimsy and suspect) excuses for banning every type of firearm. They don’t care how long it takes. and will use incrementalism to their advantage.
    Friends, ALL firearms advocates must “hang together” and realize that an assault on ANY means of firearms ownership and self-defense is an assault on ALL forms of firearms ownership and self-defense.
    There is absolutely NO ROOM for complacency among ANY Second Amendment supporters. An attack on one is an attack on ALL…
    ALL firearms laws are unconstitutional on their face. Imagine the hue and cry if “reasonable” restrictions were placed on First Amendment activities, especially with the “mainstream media”. The Second Amendment is clear–what part of “shall not be infringed” do politicians and the media not understand…of course, they understand full well…it’s part of their communist agenda…
    Even the NRA bears some responsibility for capitulation on matters concerning firearms. The NRA failed when it allowed the National Firearms Act of 1934 to stand without offering opposition, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the NICS “instant check” system, the “no new machine gun for civilians” ban in 1986, the so-called “assault weapons” ban in 1994, and other infringements of the Second Amendment. Let’s face it. What better way to increase membership than to “allow” infringements to be enacted and then push for a new membership drive. Yes, the NRA has done good, but its spirit of “compromise” will only lead to one thing…confiscation.
    If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…

    • As for the left media, Newsweek did cover the recent DGU drive-in theater story. WoPo and CNN, to name a few, did cover the DGU involving 3 masked teens, but they had to twist/emphasize the story by calling it a stand your ground.

      • He’s doing less than he used to, so it’s kinda currently a ‘win’.

        It used to be nearly *daily*…

  15. Political scientists make my head hurt. Positive rights, negative rights, blah, blah blah.

    There are only natural rights: inherent rights with which humans are endowed by our Creator, merely by virtue of our existence – including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    The right to keep and bear arms derives from all three of these natural rights, as it is the most efficient and effective means to defend the right to life, to defend liberty (against would-be oppressors), and to provide the basic means of sustenance (i.e. hunting) required to pursue happiness. Property rights derive from natural rights as well. The positive/negative right construct does nothing to aid understanding of such rights.

    Governments exists – are instituted among men – to ensure that the exercise of these rights is protected. Natural rights coexist equally, and the righteous role of government is to protect against abuse and infringement of those rights.

    It needs be no more complicated than that.

    Now, on to the underlying argument, which boils down to “your right to own a gun does not trump my right to life.” To that argument, I say: you are correct. Those rights coexist equally. Further: my exercise of my right to own a gun does not infringe your right to life. And most importantly: your desired infringement upon my right to own a gun would do nothing whatsoever to further your exercise of your right to life.

    The presumed argument otherwise (i.e. that infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms would positively impact others’ right to life) is based on the faulty premise that disarming the populace would reduce unlawful homicide. The spurious nature of that premise is aptly displayed by Great Britain, which now bans most forms of knives following their prior ban of civilian firearm ownership.

    To put a further – and finer – point on the matter: even based on the most conservative estimates (from the Obama-era CDC), the number of firearm-related homicides (10,000 – 15,000 per year) is dwarfed by two orders of magnitude by the number of firearm-related incidents of lawful self-defense (2,500,000 per year).

    In other words: infringing upon the “negative” right to keep and bear arms would have a massive, adverse impact upon the “positive” right to life.

    • You mean say for example.

      I need to go to Baltimore Md to visit my sister, I am not from around that area and will be traveling alone.
      I would like to protect myself to the best of my ability against any problems I may foresee, so I bring a firearm.
      Not even the slightest intent to do harm or ill will to anyone.

      I now face felony charges in the state of Md for possession of a weapon.

      How did my GOD given rights “protected” by the 2nd amendment factor into play?

      Asking for a friend.

      • Your rights end where commie occupied territory begin legally speaking. You still have your rights but you will be made to pay for exercising them in ways that are constitutionally murky.

    • This is what happens when people can’t conduct root cause analysis of problems. They see guns as a monolithic problem with only one solution, ban all guns from civilian hands. They don’t understand that there are multiple issues involved, and multiple root causes. Just a few of the problem areas are suicides, gang and criminal related murders, random murders, family murders, mass murders, etc. One size does not fit all for those problems. Often carrying a gun goes a long way to preventing some of those categories. These people do not understand second and third order effects. A law doesn’t just do one thing. They often have multiple effects, sometimes the second and third order effects are significantly worse than the problem that they are attempting to “solve”. I use the term solve loosely as government doesn’t really solve problems, they just create more. Root cause analysis takes work, and to fix the problem may take a few generations of change to see a benefit. A gun ban in their mind is an instant problem solver. Prohibition shows us bans are not good at solving problems.

    • The author tries to put some “english ” on the cue ball which is rights by suggesting a right isn’t a right when it’s not doing what he wants. Substitute the 2nd for the 1st in his article and it becomes a bit more chilling.

  16. “Can there be a more important “property right” than the right to your own life?”

    At least he’s pro-life.

    • Cough…Abortion…

      Not really, even if he wan’t to be, the left’s ‘religious’ dogma of group think prevents that.

  17. With over 500,000 DGUs in the US what makes the author think that children and people are safer if not defended? His argument lacks sophistication and is fallacious based on his lack of facts regarding the issue.

  18. Anyone trying to promote “positive rights” is at best a far left Socialist or a NeoCommunist and unworthy of a moment of your time.

  19. Followed up until the exercising of my 2nd amendment rights killed a woman at Walmart.

    Um, no, no it didn’t, it is not a 2nd amendment right to kill someone.

    Nice try but way short.

  20. Parsing “freedom” into universally black/white “positive” and “negative” categories is not how “freedom” works. Rather, it is a manipulation of reality intended to create a false meme that cannot stand-up to logical scrutiny. By this spurious method an 80 year old grandfather who uses a gun to defend himself and his wife of 60 years to kill a 20 year old home invader in the middle of the night is exercising “negative freedom”. I don’t think so.

    Yes, can be a conundrum about the “right to life…” noted in the Declaration of Independence when you look at cases of events in the real world. The “freedom” of one person is predicated on that person’s obligatory respect for the “freedom” of every other person and their collective respect for the “freedom” of that individual. Violate that obligatory respect by dictating that one interest overrules the other and you destroy the working essence of “freedom” as applied to all persons.

    By this Mullineaux’s logic, therefore, aborting unborn babies is the exercise of a “negative freedom” and the mother claiming to exercise her “right to choose” is a murderer, just as the sicko criminal who uses a gun to shoot school children to death in their classroom is a murderer. Both the aborting mother and the sicko school shooter have chosen to egregiously violate their obligation to respect the “right to life…” of their respective victims and thereby forfeited the rest of their fellow Humans’ obligation to respect their “right to life…” as individuals. The exercise of “freedom” depends upon the choices each individual makes day-to-day, moment-to-moment and those choices cast the exercise of freedom case-by-case as either “positive” or “negative”.

  21. It is too early in the day for this. Have to finish waking up and get to work and make the donuts …

    However, some quick research, it is not at all clear to me that the professor understands the source material for his argument. Though even that question is besides the point, as he falsely conflates human action with the inanimate objects the human makes use of.

    Maybe I’ll read some of the below over the weekend. For now, donuts beckon ……..

    ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’
    Isaiah Berlin

    “Isaiah Berlin’s essay ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’* is one of the most
    important pieces of post-war political philosophy. It was originally given
    as a lecture in Oxford in 1958 and has been much discussed since then. In
    this extract from the lecture Berlin identifies the two different concepts
    of freedom – negative and positive – which provide the framework for his
    wide-ranging discussion. Negative freedom is, roughly, a matter of which
    doors lie open to you, it is concerned exclusively with opportunities;
    positive freedom is a question of whether or not you can go through the
    doors, whether you are master of your life. Berlin points out that
    historically the concept of positive freedom has been used to control and
    repress individuals in the name of liberty.”

    It continues for 11 pages. There is also this 30 page lecture he gave in 1969:

    Or there is the original transcription of the dictation for the 1958 lecture, all 37 pages of it:

  22. I do not agree with the arguments that the author made, but we have to recognize that there is a long tradition of this idea. The great conservative political philosopher Edmund Burke stated that “The restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights.” Restraints are not just loopy liberal ideas. The best thinkers’ have the insight that unfettered liberties are as dangerous as total repression.

    • My freedom to swing my fist around ends where other people’s freedom of not getting punched starts.
      It’s the same with guns. We have the constitutionally protected human right to keep and bear arms. We don’t have a right to shoot other people who don’t present imminent threat of death or grievous injuries. We don’t even have a right to shoot in direction where we might hit and damage somebody’s property or his body.

      It isn’t all that complicated; just because someone abuses his RTKBA to commit a crime doesn’t mean that we all should lose our RTKBA.

  23. The Constitution can be amended to entirely reverse the current “negative rights” (controlled government), to “positive rights” (government control). The ability has existed since the Constitution was ratified. Why does this escape the notice of those who complain that government should have unlimited power?

  24. Children’s lives matter when they’re shot in a politically useful event – not when they’re aborted, or trafficked by Epstein and his Israeli-American intelligence friends. I want children to be free from this Herodian system we live under.

    • “Children’s lives matter when they’re shot in a politically useful event – not when they’re aborted, or trafficked by Epstein and his Israeli-American intelligence friends.”

      Or shot in Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc.

  25. I would rather have the cold comfort a tool in my hand and the responsibility that comes with it. Than to give up that tool to placate someone’s idea of safety & freedom.

    If you want true freedom you must learn how to master both the pen and the sword.

  26. The 2A fudds that support government overreach on things like medical care and mandatory vaccinations deserve exactly this kind of agitprop-doublespeak.

  27. What a load of guano…didja’ celebrate your “negative” freedom on Constitution Day?!? I need more freedom seeds😎

  28. You too have the negative right to bear firearms to protect your positive right to life because firearms are not the only way to take your life.

  29. Spi︆︆nK︆iss.︆c︆om – gr𝚎𝚊t prоj𝚎ct fоr adults wh𝚘 wаnt t𝚘 find а s𝚎x partn𝚎r

  30. Yo, you carrying the sign, tell me what the social cost is of the 4th through the 8th amendments and we’ll see if they are worth it. They the “LOOPHOLES” that most lawyers and criminals “use” to get off, as they say, in the vernacular. How many rights and freedoms are you willing to surrender? Much of the Bill of rights is composed of what are considered unalienable rights which no law can invalidate and which cannot be given up. OH, and if you do give them up it takes a frigging war to get them back. Check with the people of Venezuela. That was in 2012 which IS part of the 21st century in case you were wondering if tyranny can still occur. As the tyrannically inclined gun grabbers would have you falsely believe.

  31. Quote: “To the useful Leftist tool holding the lavender sign the reply is My Rights Don’t End Where Your Feelings Begin.”

    Even better would be a correction to the sign so it reads: CHILDREN’S LIVES TRUMP YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE Which is still wrong since there are plenty of choices to be made that will prevent the pregnancy in the first place.

    • Watching a political group which advocates killing unborn children try to shame the rest of us about how important children’s lives are make me wonder just what their platform is.

      We care about children so much as long as they can escape the womb alive would be one.

      The womb is still the most dangerous place in America for children as over 600K were lost last year. If that many were killed in shootings we’d see a huge uproar for sure. Instead it’s called women’s health and reproductive choice.

  32. That theater manager from a few posts down wouldn’t have been able to defend her right to life without the right to keep and bear arms.

  33. Donald R. Mullineaux conveniently skips over the killer’s actions in his point. He also omits the leniency the left has given criminals in general to act without consequence or responsibility for their acts. He also takes the position that all which stands between life and death for the children is the gun. Stronger people in greater numbers trump the weak all the time and if the law abiding are disarmed that disparity will be even greater. Let’s not forget how disarmed societies faced armed governments who decided they wanted to reorganize the makeup of the country.
    Firearms ownership is not a selfish individual right it’s a common right we all have, even Donald. It works because we all have that right of self defense by the best means necessary. It’s what keeps the criminal element at bay and where it’s restricted you see the most crime occur. Any big city will serve as an example.
    So go ahead and dance around the words or philosophy of gun ownership all you want, Donald. Just remember your take on it if you find yourself in a sketchy situation and unarmed to boot.

  34. The Natural Rights protected by the Bill of Rights trump the lives of ALL human beings. If you have a problem with this concept visit a military cemetery and see the evidence for yourself.

  35. No innocent school child was ever shot dead in the classroom and no young mother was ever killed in a Walmart because “assault-weapon” owners are exercising their Second-Amendment rights. People are killed because some crazy asshole decided he wants to kill them. Tool he used to do it is irrelevant.

    We know that this “Ban this kind of gun to save lives!” is a false, heartstring pulling rhetoric that can only fool the useful idiots. Leftists don’t give rat’s ass about lives. They only care about power:
    Guns taken from the people -> more power to the state.
    More government agencies required to do the actual grabbing and prosecution of ex-law abiding gun owners -> even more power to the state.
    Crime going up as a result of criminals being the only ones still armed -> people begging the state to protect them -> bonus power.

    • The government can’t protect people from criminals. It’s too expensive even to try. It’s estimated that 5% of the population is responsible for most crime. Imprisoning them for long terms would lower the crime rate by depriving them of access to more victims. But it would raise the prison population from the current 2.3 million to at least 30 million. What’s actually happening is letting more and more serious crimes go unprosecuted because punishment costs too much.

      This could be solved by letting victims do more to defend themselves. Once it’s established that the dead or wounded individual was committing a violent crime, raise the threshold for what constitutes excessive or unjustified force by the victim. Unfortunately, the trend is in the opposite direction. There are complaints about excessive imprisonment for certain demographic subsets of the population. The “solution” is to let them get away with their crimes rather than to encourage lawful behavior.

      • “The government can’t protect people from criminals.”

        You aren’t “getting it.” Criminals are not the problem. Good People stay away from criminals and their haunts. It is the non-criminal, looking like a normal “Good Person”, who goes crazy with a gun that is the threat to a safe society. A Good Person (a “Normal”) wants to be free of the danger that going to a store could be fatal. Good People don’t want to be around guns, or anyone with a gun. Just the desire to own, or even hold, a firearm is prima facie evidence that you are not a Good Person, and should be locked up.

        (It is becoming way to easy to slip into these sorts of explanations.)

  36. The problem isn’t negative freedom versus positive freedom. It’s people who refuse to avail themselves of positive freedom. Their position is, “I don’t own a gun; I don’t want a gun; and I’m not going to get one. The freedom to possess one does me no good. Depriving me of that freedom does me no harm. On the other hand, it might do me some good by making it harder for a crackpot to acquire a gun to use against me.” For them, it’s no loss versus potential gain.

    It’s the belief of advocates for social reform that their personal lifestyle is the right and proper one. It should be strongly encouraged, even subsidized. Other lifestyles should, at most, be tolerated but not if they can do harm. Then, they should be prohibited.

    There are hobbies and pastimes that involve significant danger of injury or death. Mountain climbing, private aviation, horseback riding and motor racing are examples. (I know of a city that tried to get such activities excluded from its employee health insurance.) Should there arise a campaign against them, justified by loss of life and the cost of treating injuries, I can see people who don’t do them thinking, “Nobody needs to engage in these activities. They just raise the cost my health insurance. Someone who wants recreation can play golf or go for a walk in a city park.”

  37. In the example regarding the houseboat or the lakefront property the author fails to recognize that while we do have a plethora of laws protecting life and private property, criminals typically do not follow these laws. And while the government can apply penalties to those lawbreakers after they are caught tried and convicted, many people fall victim to the criminal before the police can even show their presence at the scene. He fails to recognize the hundreds of thousands of times a firearm is used to protect man woman and child. Many times if not most a shot is never fired during the act of that protection.

    • “He fails to recognize the hundreds of thousands of times a firearm is used to protect man woman and child.”

      Try to get into the mindset of people like the author (caution).

      The statistics you pose are a net negative. Better that some people be killed or injured by attackers, than one innocent in a classroom be harmed by use of a gun. Indeed, if you are attacked, you owe it to society to suffer because the greater good is served if the masses don’t have firearms. 250,000 DGUs per year vs. 340 million other people not harmed by a gun owner gone berserk. 250,000 more dead or injured is the price you pay to life in a free society.

  38. That’s why we have laws against murdering people.

    Someone down the street who owns a gun in not infringing on your right to life. When they do, I agree, let’s put them in jail.

  39. These are the same people who will tell you that your rights end at their child’s safety about vaccines as well, also using the same false narratives and statistics.

  40. “We Need to Deemphasize the Negative Freedom of Gun Rights in Favor of the Positive Freedom of Life”

    My 2nd amendment rights are an extension of my right to self-defense which is an extension of my right to life. Your right to life does not trump my right to life.
    Besides, my right to keep and bear arms does not have any relation to your right to life. There are already laws that make killing others illegal. These laws make it illegal to kill no matter what tool is used. Removing my ability to defend myself and my family will not prevent criminals from breaking the law and killing you. Therefore, you should arm and defend yourself from those criminals because no laws will do it for you.

  41. Whenever I find anti-gun articles, like this one, I’m always interested in what their arguments are, what is their reasoning and what facts or citations they provide. Know thy enemy. But I’ve found that their arguments are generally just emotional bullshit or logical fallacies.

    They sound good to the anti-gun choir, but they don’t hold up against informed rebuttal. I posted two comments to the original article and was somewhat disappointed that no one tried to contradict me. There’s only one anti-gun comment and it’s rather weak:

    “Sorry, but if you keep guns at home you are putting your family at risk.”

    • “But I’ve found that their arguments are generally just emotional bullshit or logical fallacies….They sound good to the anti-gun choir, but they don’t hold up against informed rebuttal. ”

      In what sense do the anti-gun arguments not hold up against informed rebuttal? How do you measure victory? If the anti-gunner retains the argument, refuses to yield to “informed rebuttal”, how does one determine the “weak” argument didn’t hold up?

      Looking at what passes for public opinion polls, the “weak” arguments seem to be quite potent.

      My measure for successful informed rebuttal is when the day comes the anti-gun crowd can fit in a subway car.

      • “In what sense do the anti-gun arguments not hold up against informed rebuttal?”

        They’re logically fallacious and they don’t provide any facts to support their argument. Duh?

        “How do you measure victory? If the anti-gunner retains the argument, refuses to yield to “informed rebuttal”, how does one determine the “weak” argument didn’t hold up?”

        Victory? When has an anti-gunner conceded defeat? Rebuttals aren’t to get the author to acknowledge he’s wrong, because anti-gunners will never admit that, they’re to show the readers that he’s wrong. They provide an alternate viewpoint.

        Weak arguments “don’t hold up” because they can’t be supported by facts or logic.

        Just like your comment doesn’t hold up to analysis, because it’s “um, actually…” nonsense. Thank you for playing.

        • If your argument doesn’t persuade, then it is weak. The anti-gunners aren’t persuaded; their argument is strong….for their purposes. Thinking one’s argument is strong because it is built on conceptions that are favorable to you is not the definition of “strong”. Deciding that whatever does not yield to your (our) definition of “informed rebuttal” is somehow invalid is not actually logical.

          Anti-gunners are convinced your informed rebuttal is merely mental gymnastics to bolster a world in which every citizen is in danger, 24/7, of being slaughtered in places that should be devoid of danger. Their informed rebuttal is that no one has the right to put entire schools, malls, theaters at risk of death and injury because of some “right” that has long lost its utility and meaning. That logic resonates with enough people that we, gun owners, are in peril 24/7 of harassment, legal traps, constant uncertainty about whether our protected right to firearms will disappear. That is enough logic to keep the anti-gunners going, and constantly looking for more ways to achieve their goal. And should they succeed, we can take comfort in the fact that their logic was weak, inferior to informed rebuttal, and just not right.

          Logic should tell us that if the gun-grabbers are not converting in droves to our informed rebuttal, something is wrong with our approach. What is a better approach? Don’t know, but….the first step in solving a problem is to admit the problem exists. Remember, it is entirely possible to be dead right.

  42. “A lifetime of possibilities is instantaneously destroyed to “protect” what amounts to a single person’s whim.”
    The same could/should be said about abortion, but the lib/progs luv them sum dead babies.

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